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Film review

A horse of a different color

Flicka is a fun ride, exploring friendship, family and challenges of a girl coming of age.

Published October 19, 2006

I'm a girl who's dying to get a horse, so I was excited when I thought I was going to see a "girl and her horse" movie. But Flicka is much more than that.

Katy McLaughlin (Alison Lohman) is a 16-year-old who lives at Laramie Academy during the school year and on her family's Wyoming ranch in the summer. When she daydreams during a huge two-hour final exam essay and turns in a blank sheet of paper, she knows that she has a lot of explaining to do.

Katy's father (Tim McGraw) doesn't want her to flunk out of school. He wants her to go to college, so during the summer he wants her to write that essay. But Katy, who someday wants to take the reins of the family ranch, has other plans: She wants to spend time with the horses, especially a gorgeous, wild, dangerous mustang that she has found and named Flicka.

To stop all of this horse nonsense, her dad captures, then sells the mare. Katy is filled with sorrow and wonders if she will ever see her beloved Flicka again.

Katy's mother (Maria Bello) is the Dalai Lama of the film, keeping the family balanced even when father and daughter disagree. My mom got teary whenever Katy's mom gave advice. My favorite tidbit of wisdom was, "Anger is just fear on the way out."

This movie is an update of the 1950s television series My Friend Flicka. Many things have changed: On TV, Flicka's friend was a boy, and the story was set in Montana in the 1900s. This new Flicka is set in Wyoming and, of course, features Lohman as best friend to the wild horse. But one thing hasn't changed: The twosome have great adventures.

The cinematography was great - beautiful green meadows, blue sky, mountains and wide-open ranges. Everyone in the theater was quiet throughout the movie except during the scenes at the rodeo. People were screaming "yee-haw," laughing and having a fun time.

The cast is strong, the writing is phenomenal and the music ties the whole movie together. As I said, Flicka isn't just another "girl and her horse" movie. It offers something for everybody, and I, for one will make at least one, if not five, more trips to the theater to visit my friend, Flicka.

Arlia Delphonse, 11, is in seventh grade at Tarpon Springs Middle School.



Grade: A

Director: Michael Mayer

Cast: Alison Lohman, Tim McGraw, Maria Bello

Screenplay: Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner

Rating: PG; some mild language

Running time: 94 min.

[Last modified October 18, 2006, 10:39:12]

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